Speaking at the media conference after the day’s play, Pujara stated, "I was batting well and got a good ball. I just have to accept it. I couldn't have done anything better than what I was doing. I feel I just have to bat the way, I know.”
Praising Cummins, who has got the wood over him in this series, the Saurashtra batsman added that the experienced Aussie bowls unplayable deliveries. On his dismissal, he said, “I felt that was the best ball of this series. I don't think I could have done anything about that ball which kicked from back of length, I had to play that ball as there was extra bounce. When its not your day, the margin of error is very little.”
Pujara rejected claims that the finger injury sustained during nets at the MCG was hampering him. Admitting that he isn’t 100 per cent fit, he added, "I don't think it put any trouble as far as my batting is concerned. I won't say I am completely normal. This was something that was expected and I can manage this little bit of pain. It's an important game so I can't miss out.”
The 32-year-old felt that Rishabh Pant's dismissal proved to be the turning point of the Indian innings. He explained, "If you look at the way our innings was progressing, we were in trouble only when Rishabh got out. Till then we were in a comfortable position. We were 180 for 4, and we were doing well. Things turned around when Rishabh got out and then I got out. We didn't score many after that. Losing Rishabh was a turnaround.
"If we had a partnership going, we would have certainly put a decent total on the board. Our aim was to get close to 330 or 340 but we missed out there. And yes losing Ajinkya Rahane early in the first session, was also a big blow," he further stated.
With Marnus Labuschagne (47 not out) and Steve Smith (29 not out) at the crease, India will be in for a tough Day 4 unless the bowlers produce something spectacular.
--By A Cricket Correspondent